Why flying for business doesn’t always mean what airlines think it means.

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by: Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

Business schools and consulting firms for years have taught and espoused the virtues of ensuring that leaders surround themselves with people who don’t just tell them what to hear. That doesn’t mean that sycophants still don’t find a place at the executive boardroom from time to time, however I’ve found that most leaders I speak to these days tell you that the best decisions they’ve made more often than not resulted from spirited discussion and arguments rather than just hearing “great idea boss!” from those around them.

Which is why I am very excited and pleased about the growing and fantastic partnership that ACTE has developed over the past year with CAPA Centre for Aviation. How am I connecting these dots, you may ask? Simple – airline executives around the world need to make sure they’re hearing from and listening to the people that truly impact their bottom lines, and given the high-yielding and consistent travel done by global corporations it’s imperative that the ACTE constituency gets their ideas and thoughts heard.

When it comes to business travel, many people (both within the industry and the public at large) immediately think of flatbed seats, lounges and fine wines, and the “prestige” that comes along with all those trappings. Of course, those of us in the business travel industry know better, that the overwhelming majority of business travellers are not flying up the front, and that cost management, safety and reliability, transparency and trusted partnerships are really what “flying business” is all about. Thus why ensuring a constant, challenging and results-oriented dialogue is a key component of ACTE’s focus and strategy for our industry.

The great people at CAPA have been engaging with and challenging the aviation industry for over 25 years, a timeline and approach to thought leadership which is similar to ACTE’s. Our organisations also share similar passions for empowering our constituencies to drive change and never sit still. Sometimes that means challenging norms and sacred cows, which can be uncomfortable for many people. However, change is always uncomfortable, but only for a short while – being stuck in a losing situation is much more painful.

All the more reason why next month’s ACTE/CAPA Global Summit for Aviation and Corporate Travel is a landmark event on the calendar and one that’s not to be missed. Airline and business travel leaders from around the world will be gathering in Amsterdam to challenge each other, learn from each other, and grow together to make our industry stronger and more insightful than ever before. Don’t miss your chance to help drive the future of business travel – come prepared to say what you really think and be ready to be challenged in reply. Sycophants may want to sit this one out!

More details on the Summit can be found here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/161240

Hope to see you all in Amsterdam. Thanks again for chattering.

Kurt Knackstedt, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives

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